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Tuesday, 17 October, 2000, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Hurley sorry for breaking strike
elizabeth hurley
Hurley has sent money to the Screen Actors' Guild
Actress and model Elizabeth Hurley has formally apologised to striking union actors in America for breaking their five-month-old strike against advertisers over pay.

Hurley, 35, has been fiercely criticised by members of the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG) since July when she was found to have broken their work boycott by shooting a non-union perfume commercial.

The SAG, who are on strike along with members of the American Federation of Television and Radio artists (AFTRA), threatened the actress with fines and possible expulsion from the union.


She has expressed her regret in a letter to the union but she is definitely going to have to appear before a trial board

SAG spokesman
Hurley has always denied knowing she was doing anything wrong.

But now she has officially declared her regret and promised a "significant" donation to the SAG.

"She is making the contribution happily and freely to support the union," said Hurley's attorney Loren Plotkin.

"She has apologised numerous times and been really embarrassed over this. She really wants to put this behind her."

However, a spokesman for the SAG - which has already received $750,000 (513,000) in contributions from US celebrities - said Hurley's actions would not prevent her from being disciplined.

"She has expressed her regret in a letter to the union but she is definitely going to have to appear before a trial board," he said.

'Scab'

Members of the SAG and AFTRA - which together represent 135,000 actors - have been involved in the deadlocked strike since 1 May.

At the centre of the row are "pay-for-play" residuals - money paid to actors which depends on how often their commercials are broadcast.

Hurley and Frazer in Bedazzled
Hurley stars in Bedazzled with Brendan Frazer

The striking unions want this system extended to cable TV ads, which currently pay actors a flat rate.

But the advertising industry wants to abolish pay-for-play altogether in favour of a flat fee structure for all commercials.

Hurley has insisted she was not aware that shooting a commercial for American cosmetics company Estee Lauder made her a strike-breaker.

Her agent, Tracey Jacobs, said at the time: "She was completely unaware of the situation because she doesn't live in this country and she is extremely apologetic about it."

Kim Cornell, a spokeswoman for Estee Lauder, argued that the shoot did not contravene union rules because it would not be seen in the US.

However, the unions' anger over the incident was only further fuelled by her claiming ignorance of their long-running strike.

In recent weeks, Hurley has seen posters for her new movie Bedazzled - which is about to open across the US - defaced with the word "scab".

Irreverent radio talk show host Howard Stern also criticised her repeatedly on his programme on Monday.

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See also:

12 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Spacey boosts strikers' fund
18 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Hurley under fire from striking actors
22 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Sports stars break Hollywood strike
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